BAE is set to close one of its UK shipyards as work slows down

City A.M. Reporter
DEFENCE contractor BAE Systems is looking to shut one of its major shipyards in Britain as it aims to balance capacity with future workloads, a top executive said yesterday.

Nigel Whitehead, who is group managing director, programmes and support, told the Sunday Telegraph that BAE, which operates a shipyard in Portsmouth and two in Glasgow, “anticipate(s) that there will be a reduction in footprint”.

“We anticipate ... that part of that might actually be the cessation of manufacturing at one of the sites,” he said. “We will be making decisions this year, so we have a number of weeks in which to do that.”

The company is facing a drop in work once work on the two Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers is completed.

BAE’s base at Portsmouth is thought to be most at risk, with an estimated loss of 1,500 jobs, though two sites at Glasgow are also in the frame for closure.

The news comes just weeks after talks between BAE and EADS on the world’s largest defence and aviation merger collapsed.